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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (19 August) . . Page.. 2811 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

evident today in Ms Tucker's speech. She said, "We are in favour of hazard reduction burning-

Mr Corbell: That is not true. She supports variation 200.

MRS DUNNE: Yes, but only in theory. Ms Tucker would say no to any suggestion by this government that there should be in-fill.

Mr Corbell: No, in practice.

MRS DUNNE: Even though Ms Tucker acknowledged the theoretical possibility of hazard reduction burning she kept stating, "But it will not solve the problem."No-one has said that it will solve the problem. Mr McLeod does not say that it will solve the problem and I did not state in my article in the Canberra Times that it would solve the problem.

However, Mr McLeod did state that if fuel is the only thing over which we have control we must exercise that control. There are a number of ways of doing that. We are again seeing a backing away from that approach by the Greens. If pressure is placed on them they state, "We will do this in theory", but when it comes to the crunch they think that trees are more important than people.

MR PRATT: Under standing order 47 I seek leave to speak again.

Leave granted.

MR PRATT: Under standing order 47 I sought leave to inform members that some sections of my speech were misquoted and taken out of context. I refer in particular to Mr Quinlan's earlier operatic outburst. Initially, Mr Quinlan correctly quoted the speech that I made in November 2002. I was impressed that emergency agencies did everything they could in December 2001 to avoid a disastrous loss of infrastructure. However, Mr Quinlan, in his attack on me, failed to quote my speech in context. In order to back up my argument I will quote three paragraphs from Hansard. I stated:

I do not need to table the reports that spelt out how severely pushed our firefighting resources were over the critical Christmas Eve-Christmas Day period.

I was referring to the bushfires that occurred in 2001. I then stated:

Indeed, on Christmas Eve on a number of fronts fire teams were successful only when the swirling and gusting north-westerlies abated right on sunset. Severe loss of property at the zoo, for example, was only just avoided.

I referred also to the preventive work that was done by our fire units in 2002. Mr Quinlan, in his operatic outburst, failed to refer to this statement:

Where vulnerable neighbourhoods, particularly those fronting on to bushland on their western fringes and perhaps with western gradients falling away, have cooperated with fire units in preventive preparations and education, the fire units have been most willing and they have been proactive.

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